Thursday, September 24, 2009

Call to Prayer

The clock tower bell rang out as I walked to class tonight. It always reminds me of the call to prayer at the Abbey of Gethsemani.

The sound reached me as I thought about a struggle I have been facing. The ringing was a comfort. I had been thinking about my love/hate relationship with food. I struggle with food for the same reasons most people do. I love food mostly of the unhealthy variety. I love to eat too much of it. I love the taste, and I love to feel full. I have come to see that I base much of my happiness in a day on the acquisition of these pleasures. At the same time, I want to be healthy and thin.

Over the last several years, however, I have begun to see this in a spiritual light as well. Our bodies should not take a backseat in our spiritual lives. We must see ourselves as whole beings and not in some gnostic division of the soul and the body, with the former being our only concern. So for me, the issue of food is a spiritual issue. This is what I pondered tonight.

I realize that I am guilty of looking to pleasurable things such food for my happiness. I am guilty of not trusting God to take this role in my life. In the end, that is the issue. I do not trust God to make me happy, so I look elsewhere. I want it now. I do not want to wait for God. Yet after all my gluttony, I am still not happy. I am still empty. Is this the truth of my heart? Do I fill my body in order to escape a greater emptiness?

A warm breeze blew across the walkway. A yearning for God rises. The peace of God settles. The clock tower chimes out a call to prayer.

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